At this year’s Workday Rising, Dennis shot a few videos to get the on-the-ground review. This edition pulls together shoots with analysis Brian Sommer and Vinnie Mirchandani.

Leading with Brian’s shoot (play above), the guys delved into a key topic for this year’s show – the extent of cloud financials adoption in the large enterprise (see Den’s diginomica analysis based on this shoot – Crossing the cloud financials chasm).

As Brian put it in a recent post:

Cloud adoption of financial software is crossing the chasm. The core financial transaction systems are seeing solid uptake in the SMB space. Larger enterprises are adopting solutions in the Treasury, Budgeting, Planning, BI and other areas.  I suspect all sectors will see uptake from all sized businesses especially as vendors round out their product lines and functionality.

The guys talk about how SME customers have led the way when it comes to cloud financials adoption. But what are Workday’s chances of pulling that momentum into the midmarket and higher?

Reflecting on the video shoot, Dennis writes:

During our conversation, Sommer told me about a study he undertook during the summer where he interviewed a broad spread of people in CFO and controller roles. About 30 in total so not exactly a huge sample. What was striking in those conversations was that all had experience of at least FIVE cloud apps. These ranged from financials to CRM with solutions like Salesforce.com, office productivity such as Office 365 and Google and an HR related solution like SuccessFactors for talent management. In Sommer’s words, the finance office is comfortable with cloud applications and now sees finance as the next prime candidate for replacement. Surprisingly, security is not a top of mind topic among this sample.

Because much of Brian’s research was CFO-focused over CIO-focused, the discussion marks some adoption milestones. The guys go on to talk about the impact of cloud on virtual business and branch rollouts, before wrapping with some back-and-forth on whether cloud financials adoption really has crossed that large enterprise chasm.

Show Notes

1:00 Cloud financials adoption – Brian’s latest research

2:15 SME customers led the way with cloud financials adoption

3:06 Is cloud financials “crossing the chasm” at Workday Rising?

5:10 Brian is seeing plenty of cloud adoption from CFOs

6:12 CFOs getting “fed up” with on-premise IT and maintenance costs

8:17 Cloud is enabling virtual business structures and quick regional rollouts

9:40 Security is not proving to be a major impediment

12:54 Debating large enterprise cloud adoption issues

Next up? Dennis got an initial take on Workday Rising from Vinnie Mirchandani. Vinnie can be a tough critic of enterprise software vendors, who struggle to keep pace with the end customer innovation he documents.

Vinnie was struck by the complexity of the world views shared during the keynote:

  • CEO for Flextronics, Mike McNamara: talked of his $20 billion company and its HCM direction.
  • CFO of city of Orlando: one of the most sophisticated cities in the country talking about their Workda implementation.
  • George Tenet, former CIO director: talked from the field about geopolitics.

There was some talk about whether the keynote was too understated – the guys kick that around before discussing Workday’s new UI, and the surprising announcement to reduce the annual software updates from 3 to 2:

Show Notes with Vinnie Mirchandani

1:11 Vinnie’s keynote reactions

3:00 Presentations in review

4:27  Views on the new UI

4:55  Executives focusing on complex issues, role of tech is changing